Idaho City's Warm Springs Resort could re-open

Credit: Theresa Palmgren/KTVB

Idaho City's Warm Springs Resort could re-open


by Edgar Linares
Idaho's NewsChannel 7


Posted on April 10, 2010 at 9:50 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 10 at 10:14 PM

IDAHO CITY -- The once popular Warm Springs Resort in Idaho City has been closed for almost a decade but that could all change if the county decides to purchase the property.

The owners of the pool are giving the citizens of East Boise County an option to lease or purchase the property.

"The citizens of Idaho City are very excited," said Mayor Jackie Bridwell of Idaho City. "They want the warm spring opened up. It's a big boost for the citizens and the businesses here."

The pool closed back in 2001 after the owners sold it to a property management company. That company closed the resort  due to problems with the septic tank and infrastructure.

"It was very sad," Bridwell said. "A lot of our children worked out there."

Bridwell remembered having many family reunions at the resort, and also remembered what the resort did for the local economy.

"People would come and enjoy the warm spring and then filter up into the town," Bridwell said. "They would come here and eat and walk around and see what Idaho City has to offer."

Bridwell isn't the only one to remember that time in the city's history.

"I mean it was packed, nothing but tent city along the highway," Sinclair Gas station owner Nancy Holbert  said of how the resort looked ten years ago. "It was full."

Now, the possibility of opening the 80-acre resort is on the table.

Boise County Commissioner Terry Day said the property management company has offered the community an option to lease or buy the property.

That is something the Mores Creek Recreation Foundation is very much interested in.

In order to do that, the Mores Creek Board of Directors must establish a taxing district in East Boise County to raise the money needed.

"All the taxing will do is get us some operating capital," Day said.

The rest of the money will have to be raised.

"You're probably talking about a couple $100,000 to get the infrastructure repairs," Day said. "Just to get the doors open."

Day said opening the pool would create a number of jobs and would also help make Idaho City a recreation destination.

Board members believe it could be any where from 1 to 2 years before the possibility of seeing the pool open could become a reality.

The Mores Creek Board has put together a petition to put the taxing district on the ballot for May.

The board plans to hold several meetings to educate the public on how the money will be used.

Steamboat Gulch

Along with re-opening the Warm Springs Resort, the Mores Creek Foundation is also looking to re-open the sledding hill at Steamboat Gulch in Idaho City.

The hill was used for tubing and had a rope line that pulled people to the top.

The gulch closed more than two decades ago, but many people still use the area.

Mores Creek Board members are looking to develop the area and have some permanent structures in place.

People began using the hot spring during the mid-1800s, a little after Idaho City was founded. Gold miners used the warm water to wash their clothing and bathe.